Tuesday July 17, 2018

Luczon: End of honeymoon

WE GAVE every presidents some chances, except perhaps to Ferdinand Marcos who overstayed, in proving what they can do after taking oath into office. President Rodrigo Duterte is no different.

For a year, he has his highs and lows, and uniquely he had moments that sometimes we cringed and wished he never said that. But you would never know what comes out to his mouth, it will always surprise everyone.

But they say, it is not about the man, but how he represents a new system that would translate his promises delivered to every Filipinos, especially to the more than 16 million who voted for him.

There are times his administration delivered and addressed the needs of the people, thanks also to the cabinet members who took the part seriously to work.

But there are times, and the ones being highlighted in the mainstream media and in the international stage, that his administration is marred with controversies with the number of killings.

And yet, regardless of the West's cautious impression on Duterte and his administration, the general public consistent with popular rating. Taking cue from BBC Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur, that such figures would be a politician's "happiest day of his life."

But one year has passed, Duterte survived attempts to unseat him even the ill wishes of rumor mongers about his health and untimely death. However, the honeymoon period is over and in the remaining five years Duterte's administration needs to concretely lay out the programs that the ordinary people can feel.

It is quite true what critics have said, Duterte must not only focus on drugs, and he needs to micromanage his cabinet members especially on matters of foreign relations and international security.

But surely, the president knows this too well (or as what his loyalists would say), yet a gentle reminder wouldn't hurt.


Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno has managed to slip through the Ombudsman's dismissal orders once again, courtesy of a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals (CA).

Moreno's enemies already cast doubts on CA, insinuating that the court is easily bribed by Moreno's camp.

To make it worse and complicated, the mayor's opposition would want to make it appear that this is a battle between Liberal Party (LP) and PDP-Laban, aligning it to Duterte's campaign against corruption. But in simplest sense, it's all about local politics, of vengeance and getting even.

It's interesting, however, with many cases that instantly sprung from the archives of Commission on Audit reports against Moreno and his cohorts. It's either the opposition have good lawyers to sift through legal implications to Moreno's past actions, or Moreno has been careless with his public transactions. Or can be both.

A means to destabilize Moreno may be the motive behind these cases, but the documents used against him may hold some spurious truth behind it. Who knows? The opposition can always try another day.